So you’ve made the big decision to put your property on the market, so what now?
If only it was as easy as sitting back and waiting for someone to walk in and love your house as much as you do, but the reality is a little bit of effort at this point can massively speed up the selling process and maximise the returns at the same time.
Colin Brown, head of sales gives his top tips for getting those offers in and a sale made. Want Colin’s help? Call him on 029 2037 0100 or email email@example.com
Get the experts in
First and foremost, choose your estate agent carefully and trust your instincts. The right estate agent will know the area and the market well, have a clear understanding of the true value of your property and be able to help you set the right asking price from the start. This is crucial, as an over inflated asking price can put off potential buyers and leave your property languishing for too long.
HHigh-quality hotography of your property, taken with a critical, expert eye, will draw the buyers in and make them want to see more. Do your research and take a look at details for other properties with the estate agents that you are considering. Images speak a thousand words, as any good agent knows.
Once the offers come in your estate agent will be invaluable in leading the negotiations and advising you, thus making sure that you get the best offer available for your property.
And while your estate agent is busy marketing your property and getting the buyers lined up for viewings, these are the critical things that you can do to get ready and maximise your property’s appeal:
They say that most people make up their mind about a property within the first 8 seconds of seeing it. In many cases that doesn’t even get them through the front door! So take a look at your property from the outside and tackle simple tasks that will make it look well cared for and loved. This may be as simple as clearing the bins to another location, painting the front door, weeding the path, planting some flowers or buying a modern new house sign, for example. The little details go along way at this early stage.
Now for the inside. As soon as you put your house on the market you need to imagine that it is no longer yours and do all that you can to help a potential buyer to see it as their new home. You need to remove as many personal items as possible, such as photos and ornaments, that make your house look like yours and not theirs’.
New home owners will naturally be looking for space and light in a property, so clear as much clutter as possible. Kitchen worktops should be free of appliances and sparkle like they’ve never been used and additional furniture and rugs removed to show as much floor space as possible.
Not only does this make the property look more appealing, it diverts viewers from thinking there is a potential lack of storage and allows them to visualise their possessions in the house.
Tackle simple repair jobs that you’ve been putting off. Nothing puts a buyer off quicker than a dripping tap. Any obvious lack of maintenance will give the impression that the house has not been looked after and may be hiding a host of hefty repairs.
Purpose each room
As much as the details may say its a four bedroom house, unless all four rooms have beds in them then a buyer may struggle to see how this would work. Beg or borrow the furniture you may need to dress each room and give it the purpose it was meant for.
Find a critical eye
Once your happy with your hard work, ask a trusted friend – or your trusted estate agent, to cast a critical eye over your property and advise on anything that you may have missed that might put a buyer off.
Subliminal selling tricks
These are the clever things that you can do on the day of viewings that will work on the subconscious level of the potential buyer and hopefully give them that warm, fuzzy feeling when they enter your property.
• Most importantly, clean up – especially in the kitchen. A kitchen is still seen very much as the heart of the home and can sell a house in its own right. Dirty dishes in the sink will never adhere someone to your house and make sure surfaces and kitchen appliances are all dust, dirt and debris free.
• Remove any pets from the property for the time of the viewing. As much as Fido makes your house your home, potential buyers are unlikely to feel the same way.
• Its an old cliche but it really works: Put a well timed pot of coffee on or bake something just before the viewing. Smell is a powerful sense that will make the viewer instantly feel at home when they walk through the door.
• If you want to go all out then you can even go so far as to change the colours in your house to suit the time of year. Adding warm tones in the winter, to make the house feel cosy and welcoming – or cooler colours in the summer, to make the house feel fresh and airy. This doesn’t have to be a total redecoration, just changing cushions or curtains in certain key rooms can have an enormous impact.
• And finally, you can sit back and relax. We would always recommend that you let your estate agent handle the viewings. They know what buyers are interested in, they stop it feeling like your home and are experts at getting that sale.